World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

World Space week runs from the 4th – 10th October, and is an international celebration of all things Space and focuses on science and technology and its role in the past, present and future of mankind, a way of not only promoting the work that countries do together to explore space but also how important space technology is to life on earth.

The theme for UN-declared World Space Week 2018 will be “Space Unites the World,” and “will celebrate the role of space in bringing the world closer together,” said WSWA President Dennis Stone.

There are a number of resources for educators to use during the week from the official World Space Week website.

If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding? You can watch a trailer below:

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created by Max Wainwright, author of the popular espresso coding resource for primary schools.

J2e have a range of tools that can be used within Space week, the children could use any of the tools in j2write, to complete research into the planets, space and the Solar System as well as creating fact files on famous astronauts. They could also use JIT to explore branching databases, sorting aliens.

J2code has a range of resources and examples that can be used.

JIT is a turtle based coding language in which you can code freely or use spite (Or more then one spite using advanced mode) and background templates to create simple short based animations for KS1.

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, including for example,  creating a space themed game:

Busy Things also have a range of labelling and fact sheet templates covering the Solar System and Space that can be used in class for KS1 and KS2, whilst younger children can get creative with designing their own spaceship.

You can find lesson plans and activities from Switched on Science – The Out of this world Unit for Year 5 is perfect to use during World Space Week.

If you are running an event in school, you can register this on the World Space week website as well as finding a whole range of resources including: A Space nutrition activity sheet and an activity leaflet from Tim Peake.

This picture which was first posted on Twitter shows all the planets in on picture – Pluto is included and the picture is not to scale, however I think it would make an excellent introduction to the topic of Space as well as being great on display – you can see the original painting here.

Stem learning have a range of resources that can be used during Space Week, with just a few materials, building a paper model of the International Space Station (ISS) can become a class project. The resource contains a brief overview of the ISS, its parts, the science that occurs on board, instructions, and extension fact sheets. Learn about the ISS, explore fun facts, simulate building the station, and learn about the international partners.

Is there anyone out there? This resource was funded by the UK Space Agency and developed by ESERO-UK and CIEC Promoting Science. It is based upon the quest to discover more about the solar system through space projects such as the European Space Agency’s Aurora programme, and NASA’s Curiosity mission seeking to gather evidence of life on the planet Mars. The students take on the role of space scientists or space engineers to discover more about Mars. The activities in this resource are designed for students aged 9-12 years.The activities are organised into three themes: life, landscape and landing. Activities in the life and landscape themes are suitable for students aged 9 to 11.

You can find all the resources here, including getting your students to train like an astronaut in P.E.

Your class could even borrow the moon!

The STFC Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme has been running since the mid 1980s. It has lent the NASA Moon rock discs and meteorites to thousands of schools, museums and outreach organisers. You can find out how to apply here. The site also has a vast range of resources from the National Space centre suitable for ages 5-18.

The Moon Camp Challenge is a new interdisciplinary school project that invites students, aged 8 to 19, to team up and design their own human base on the Moon, a ‘Moon Camp’. The project will allow students to use exciting and innovative learning technologies, such as 3D modelling, to explore the extreme environment of space, in particular on the Moon, to better understand how environment affects habitability.

The first Moon Camp Challenge will run in the school year 2018/19. It will be launched during World Space Week 2018 and it will continue throughout 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  In the future, to enable astronauts to stay on the Moon for long periods of time, new infrastructures have to be developed to solve important challenges; protection from radiation and meteorites, energy production, the extraction and recycling of water, food production and much more. The Moon Camp Challenge invites students to become Moon explorers and decode some of the complexities future astronauts may face.

The Moon Camp Challenge is an educational and inspirational programme run in collaboration between ESA and the Airbus Foundation, featuring preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning-by-design and science experimentation. Students will have to develop a number of scientific experiments related to the Moon and apply their acquired knowledge to design their own Moon Camp using a 3D modelling tool (Tinkercad or Fusion 360).

The participating teachers and students will be invited to participate in webinars with space experts and then share their designs online. A jury of experts will select the best projects.

Participation is open to teams of students aged 8-19 through two entry paths: ESA Member States or Associate Member States, and worldwide. Teams will also be able to choose between two different difficulty levels. Teams must be supported by a teacher or an educator.

The BBC have a great range of clips around Space, including this collection from CBeebies great for using with younger students and includes Dr Brian Cox reading The way back home by Oliver Jeffers.

VirtualiTeach – a non profit site dedicated to all things AR and VR in Education have produced a great blog post entitled Space: The Virtual Frontier, it features a list of 20 experiences across four categories: AR apps, 360 videos on YouTube, mobile VR apps and full VR experiences from Steam.

Discovery Education Espresso is giving primary schools access to fantastic free resources, helping teachers to bring the wonders of space into the classroom. Taking children on a fascinating tour across the universe, the resources include interactive videos, lesson plans and activities, closely mapped to the National Curriculum. From visiting observatories to looking deep into our solar system, to tracking cosmic firestorms, meteors and shooting stars, these exciting free resources will engage younger children with space science. They’ll also help pupils to see the bigger picture, as they learn about the future of space travel and life on other planets. With spectacular clips from television network Discovery Science, and contributions from world famous astronomer Professor Richard Ellis, children will learn about space in a fun and accessible way.

The resources also include a special World Space Week lesson plan: Beyond Planet Earth – A Virtual Space Experience, culminating in an out-of-this-world virtual reality tour of the universe.

Remember we would love to see your work for World Space week – you can share via our Twitter and Facebook page #WSW2018

 

 

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2018

National Poetry day is on the 4th October 2018 and the theme this year is Change.

To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Zaro Weil on the 3rd October 2018 at 2:30 pm.  Zaro Weil is and has been a lot of things: dancer, poet, novelist, theatre director, performer, teacher, publisher, historian, and a few more as well. Her latest book Firecrackers contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haiku’s, ballads, little plays, fairy tales and tall tales which pulse with excitement and wonder. It is a book where experience is turned upside-down: questions are answered, tomorrow is yesterday, and tears are laughter. Every page invites the reader in to an enticing world where concepts, language and rhythms conspire to spark imagination. You can read an interview with Zaro here.

We would love you to join in with this event and there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • If you have access to Video conferencing (VC) facilities you can link with the live event by e mailing contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • If you do not have access to VC, you can e mail questions in advance to contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • You can watch the event live from 2:25 pm on the 27th September here
  • Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag  #RZL to @LGfL.

To tie in with National Poetry Day we are also launching our brand new resource Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe, the resource is part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Change from the National Poetry day website:

  • Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
  • To tie in with National Poetry day  a special competition with Hamish Hamilton, publishers of The Lost Words, has been launched. The Lost Words is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, it captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages and fascinates children. There are signed copies to be won plus £100s worth of books for your school library. The competition is open to children in two age groups: 7-9 and 10-12. You can find out more and enter here.
  • Poems grow from poems, says poet Kate Clanchy, who has created this wonderful activity to inspire new poems. Why not have a go, in class.
  • Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
  • Use this form to sign up for packs of printed materials – Please note it’s first come, first served and National Poetry Day partners at Browns Books for Students are also distributing materials.
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.

You can also join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, at bbc.com/livelessons. Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, (who also features on LGfL Reading Zone Live you can see his interviews before the day hereand BBC presenter and author Katie Thistleton.

Using poetry from the National Poetry Day anthology Poetry for a Change, children will discover how intonation, volume and speed can affect the delivery and performance of a poem and use their imaginations to contribute to a mass Live Lessons poem.

Inspired by the National Poetry Day theme ‘Change’, the programme will encourage children to consider how they experience change in their everyday lives and how they can bring this theme to the poetry they read, write and perform.This lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students.

BBC Teach Live Lessons bring the curriculum to life with leading experts and access to the BBC’s biggest brands and talent. The Poetry Live Lesson is one of a series of eight new half hour interactive webcasts for schools. Find out more at bbc.com/livelessons and follow @BBC_Teach for regular updates on all upcoming Live Lessons.

LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day

  • Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers. Teachers can find clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos. As Michael Rosen states in the introduction of the resource –  Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you.
  • Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.
  • You can also use image bank from LGfL to show children images of how London has changed over time for them to use as an inspiration to create their own poems and why not use BBC Sound effects to add different sounds to your poems.

  • J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of change and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem.

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

We would love to see the work you do around Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday

The Big Draw Festival 2018

October is upon us which means it is time again for The Big Draw Festival, the festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t! It’s an opportunity to join a global community in celebration of the universal language of drawing. This years theme is Play! – For all, the Big Draw Festival 2018 is about letting loose, embracing happy accidents, discovery and having fun!

Every year, during the Big Draw festival, thousands of drawing activities connect people of all ages – artists, scientists, designers, illustrators, inventors with schools, galleries, museums, libraries, heritage sites, village halls, refugee organisations and outdoor spaces.

Since 2000, the annual, international celebration of drawing, brings people together under the banner ‘drawing is a universal language’.  The festival regularly takes place in over 25 countries, involves over 1000 events and has encouraged over 4 million people back to the drawing board.

LGfL have a range of resources that can help support art in the classroom, from digital tools to helpful tutorials we have you covered!

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work. The resource is jam packed with interactive activities to inspire. There’s everything from making a clay coil pot to understanding what the Turner prize is all about.

A great way to introduce animation to younger children is found in the J2E infant toolkit. Your students can create simple animations using  frame by frame illustrations that join together to make animations and you even add a soundtrack or narration using a microphone.

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to create your own digital stamps which can be saved in a My Stamps area and be used across the JIT platfrom.

Busy Things offers a range of activities to suit any age, it encourages young children to create art and music through experimentation. Choose from a large array of unusual tools and allow a picture or sound composition to evolve in front of you. No experience is necessary – just click or touch and watch or hear what happens! There are also ready-made templates and clipart to help you design a monster, superhero, a fashion item and much else!  Older children can use Busy Paint to create artwork on a chosen topic. Busy Paint is an easy-to-use art tool offering drawing tools, brushes, shapes, stamps, clipart, symmetry options and more.Linking drawing with story telling is another way to inspire students, you can find multiple interviews with illustrators such as Tony RossChris Riddel and Oliver Jeffers in Reading zone live.

LGfL Image Bank is a growing collection, with  unique access to collections from The Royal Collection and The British Library, It’s purpose is to provide a free repository of high quality materials copyright cleared for use in teaching and learning*.

All of the resources in the Image Bank are archived at the highest quality available so they can be used on whiteboards, printed materials, animations and for any other educational application. All of the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and re-purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home*.

This may prove to be useful in a classroom setting if you are fortunate enough to have a high resolution, large scale printer.

Because the High resolution scans have so much fine detail – you can zoom in on a part of the picture without losing image quality.

This is very useful if you want to print out just a part of the image or focus attention on one aspect of the picture. What separate stories can these smaller sections of a picture tell the viewer?

You could if you have access to Apple Keynote use the ‘magic move’ transition  or if you have Office 365 use the Powerpoint transition ‘Morph’ to zoom in and out of the chosen image, and save this as video (the video does not have sound)

If you are looking at images to help inspire teaching and learning, than you may find LGfL Gallery of use.

LGfL Gallery is a growing collection, at present containing over 60,000 images, Audio and Video resources covering a wide range of topics relevant to the curriculum. All the resources are copyright cleared so they can be downloaded, edited and purposed for educational use, both within the classroom and at home and offer a range of images to start your drawing journey off.

If you need to brush up on your art skills or terminology then you can with Art Skills for Teachers. This resource offers simple explanations of a range of art techniques in action. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

What will you be doing for the Big Draw? Please share your work with us via our Twitter and Facebook page.

Dyslexia Awareness Week with LGfL resources

This year, Dyslexia Awareness Week runs from Monday 1st October to Sunday 7th October 2018, with World Dyslexia Awareness Day taking place on Thursday 4th October 2018. This year’s theme is 21st Century Dyslexia, focussing on technology that can assist people at school, in the workplace and at home.

Because of this, I would like to draw your attention to all the resources to support learners and staff with dyslexia on LGfL, but also to share my own personal experience of dyslexia as a teacher and as a learner. Here is my story:

“I remember feeling relieved to be diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 19 years old and at university. It had taken a long time to come to grips with it and finally be tested.

My school years were the worst time for me. School report after school report said the same thing over and over; I was “A slow starter” and apparently showed a “Lack of effort.”

Primary school was a battle every day for me as I attempted to remember things and to catch up with people around me. Simple things like remembering the order of the alphabet and months of the year escaped me. Having to write the long date on a piece of work could take a whole lesson. With little support or understanding, my school life was a blur of disappointment.

Thankfully for me, I was lucky enough to have an amazing Art teacher who could see my artistic talent. This teacher was able to see that I could organise objects on the page and show a focus that many staff didn’t think I was capable of.

Fast forward to my twenties and I decided to become a teacher, not for the love of my past school years, but instead because of how much I disliked it! My decision was based on my own personal experience that information needed to be presented using a range of media and techniques, and teaching staff needed to offer support for all types of learners. Without the (then new) technology of Interactive White Boards, I don’t think I would have had the courage to even think about presenting.

If I weren’t dyslexic, I wouldn’t have been able to be such a creative person, nor would I have become a teacher, nor do I think I would have become adept at using technology to help others.”

This year’s theme of 21st Century Dyslexia is a very personal theme for me as I have used various types of technology over the past 15 years to help me and my pupils to succeed in learning, regardless of need. This might be as simple as having autocorrect, using one of the many iPad accessibility features, tools such as WordQSpeakQ, or simply using Google Maps to help me not get lost!” 

I am just one of the staff members at LGfL with a personal and professional interest in dyslexia; as a team, we are fully committed to supporting all pupils, not just those with literacy difficulties.

We have many resources which support accessibility for all, but one which is ideal for students with dyslexia is WordQSpeakQ. This is easy to use and powerful literacy tool helps young people who can type but may have trouble with writing, grammar and spelling. It includes Word Prediction, Speech Recognition and Spoken Feedback, and can be installed on staff, pupil or school computers for online or offline use.

Find out more at wordqspeakq.lgfl.net or book our FREE ‘Getting Started with WordQSpeakQ’ session at training.lgfl.net for a chance to use this assistive technology to help learners write to their full potential on 13th November.

One way to support Dyslexia Awareness Week is to organise a No Pens Day. For many students with dyslexia, writing is a highly complex and sometimes frustrating activity. While they may have incredibly creative ideas, they often struggle to get their ideas onto paper in a formalised written manner. This can lead to students becoming reluctant writers. As teachers, we often assess knowledge and skills by looking at the final written piece, but for a dyslexic student, this will often not showcase their capabilities or knowledge.

The purpose of No Pens Day is to enable all children and adults to engage in activities that do not require writing; instead exploring other ways of showing knowledge and learning. Download information and sponsorship forms here.

LGfL offers a range of resources that can support creating stories without the use of a pen:

  • Super Action Comic Book Maker: Use this resource to create cool comic books with customisable backgrounds and superhero sprites, and use speech bubbles and sound effects to create a narrative.

  • Junior Infant Tools within the j2e Toolkitis a range of online IT tools for children to create, text, graphics, animations, sounds and videos that can be combined on a single web page. With the additional of an inbuilt or external microphone, children can add their own voices to the work, giving power to the marks they have made.

  •  Audio Network and BBC Sound EffectsAsk children to create a spoken-word poem or story and use it to enhance a spoken word story telling session, allowing children to add music and sound effects.

It is vitally important to show children that being Dyslexic doesn’t mean you can’t write or become an author. Why not use some of the clips from interviews with dyslexic authors such as Henry Winker or Sally Gardner within Reading Zone Live to inspire your children.

To find out how else LGfL can support your learners, visit our Inclusion Resource Centre or dedicated SpLD support page, or contact our wonderful SEND specialist Jo Dilworth.

You can download a Dyslexia Awareness Week school pack here – it’s fill of inspirational stories, posters, videos and useful guides on how to talk about dyslexia.

There are also competitions that students with dyslexia can enter, by creating art, prose or videos that shows their journey with dyslexia. BDA and Nessy are offering a free eBook “Dyslexia explained” covering: Understanding Dyslexia, Types of Dyslexia, What People with Dyslexia are good at, Dyslexia difficulties, Helpful Strategies and What works best for dyslexia all without the need for too many words. LGfL users can also get 15% off NESSY products. Go to Recommended Links in the SEND section for details.

Why not tell us what you are doing for Dyslexia Awareness Week? Drop us a line via Twitter or Facebook; and remember, if you like this post, please do share it!

 

J2e new features added

Just 2 Easy have announce not one but two updates to their popular suite of tools.

The first update is to JIT: Junior Infant Toolkit, part of the Just2easy Toolsuite which has a range of digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an online document

We are really excited to say that this popular program has had some new features added!

Pupils can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added.  You can see these new features in the picture below.

 

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the JIT progam.

Internet search has also been added to the JIT program – this is a safe search with copyright filters in place.

You can see all the features in action by watching the short video below

The second update is to Visual part of j2Code, adding a new sprite in visual is now even easier, 3 tabs have been added and you can choose from my pictures (pictures stored within your own files on j2e), shared files any pictures that have been shared with you and a web search.  Using the web search you can either search for all images, faces, pictures and clip art, once you have search for an image you can then set it as your background, making it easier to add backgrounds into visual.

If adding a new sprite from clip art, there are a new set of commands with added directions so that you can set the direction you want the sprite to move.

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

We would love to hear what you think of these new features or if you have any examples that you would like to share with us on how you have made use of the new features via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

European Day of Languages – 26th September 2018

The 26th of September is European Day of Languages. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September.

It is celebrated

  • to alert the public to the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding
  • To promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe
  • To encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school

The European Day of Languages website has a vast range of resources for teachers to use both on the day and on the lead up these include lessons plans, quizzes, language facts and fun, a teachers area and the chance to create the design to be featured on the official 2019 t-shirt.

The short video below would be an excellent way to introduce the day in assembly entitled Hello! Talk to me!  You could also Invite pupils and parents who are EAL speakers to give language tasters in their mother tongue and talk about their culture.

In this small booklet you will find examples of the many languages spoken in Europe, including numbers to ten and simple greetings.

LGfL have a range of resources to help with your language teaching within school these include the following: Rigolo (primary French) and Vamos Unit 1 and 2 (primary Spanish).

Busy Things have labelling activities for KS2 pupils in both French and Spanish; looking at colours, food, drinks and body parts.

Or why not invite children to come to school dressed in the colours of the flag of a European country of their choice, they could also research and present facts about their country including famous people, geographical features and famous landmarks from the country. They could use j2e tool suite to present their work. This could also include planning a trip around Europe, or a travel brochure for their country. The European Commission have a range of resources to support teaching and learning about Europe including maps and a range of information booklets.

Or why not hold a European food tasting session, or create a menu from a country or even a cookbook of Europe – the Cookit resource from E2bn features a range of recipes from across Europe.

The day would be an excellent day to launch The Young Interpreter Scheme®, this recognises the huge potential that exists within each school community for pupils of all ages to use their skills and knowledge to support new learners of English so that they feel safe, settled and valued from the start.

The supporting content, which is available to LGfL schools, supports the selection of children and young people based on specific different personal qualities they may have. The materials also offer specific training to equip learners as they begin their new role as Young Interpreters.

The support Young Interpreters can offer to a newly-arrived pupil can be very reassuring from parent or carer’s point of view at a time when their child may be adapting to substantial changes. It also supports school staff in a variety of ways at different points during the school day. The online materials offered by LGfL support schools in implementing the Young Interpreter Scheme and training their learners.

The Hampshire EMTAS EAL E Learning resources available through LGfL provide a set of high-quality, cross-phase, interactive online training units based around catering for the needs of EAL learners.This resource is aimed at Governors, Inclusion managers, Teachers and TAs/LSAs. It has particular relevance for NQTs and trainee teachers.

  • The E Learning consists of a number of different units including Introduction, Core Principles, Working with Parents, SEND and EAL, Bilingualism and Teaching and Learning
  • The materials have been developed by specialist teachers of EAL in conjunction with senior leaders and class teachers based in local schools
  • They contain a variety of interactive learning materials supported by text, images, podcasts and video
  • There are assessable assets and free-form activities that enable learners to reflect on their current practice
  • The materials can be visited at a learner’s own pace and in their own time-frame
  • The system records progress throughout each unit
  • Completed units are certificated by the system and can form part of a learner’s CPD

Newbury Park primary school in Redbridge have an excellent resource entitled Language of the month – which includes resource packs to be used in the classroom, activity packs and interactive video clips showing children teaching their home languages.

Into Film have a range of resources to support European Day of Languages – this resource contains a guide to seven films, which have been specially selected to be accessible to learners aged 7-19. The guides include discussion questions and activity ideas to encourage learners to ask and answer questions about films that reflect different cultures and ways of life around the world. The flims and languages featured in the resources are; Wadjda (Arabic), La Famille Belier (French), Max Minsky und Ich/ Max Minsky and Me (German), La Juala de Oro/ The Golden Dream (Spanish), Goodbye Lenin! (German) and Carlitos y el Campo de los Suenos/ Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime (Spanish).

Film represents a valuable tool to support language learning; students will find themselves engaged by the characters, story, and representation of culture as well as absorbing how the language is spoken. Useful to increase vocabulary and improve pronunciation as well as enhancing listening skills, this selection of films represents the most widely studied Modern Foreign Languages as well as celebrating the film culture of France, Spain and Germany, with films for both Primary and Secondary students.

Lightbulb Languages is a fantastic website with a vast range of resources for use in both the Primary and Secondary classroom, packed with over 6000 language resources written by language teachers for language teachers it is one of those must book mark sites to use in class. The site includes, planning, display ideas, flashcards and games.

The Language Magician is a free primary languages assessment tool in the form of a computer game that assesses in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian and Spanish as a foreign language. Help, explanation and story is available in English, German, Italian and Spanish. As a teacher, you can select a new test language and support language for each session. The project co funded by Erasmus and with the European Union is available both through a browser as well as a free app. The video below gives a brief overview of the game:

The Association for Language learning have a wealth of links and articles to support European Day of languages including an excellent wiki to support learning languages through literary texts.

What are you doing to celebrate? We would love to hear from you and share your celebrations via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day is the annual, global celebration of the world’s number one storyteller, his beloved stories and unforgettable characters.

This year Roald Dahl Day is happening on September 13th with James and the Giant Peach leading the festivities. You can find lots of brilliant ideas and activities in this year’s stupendous Roald Dahl Day party pack which is free to download from the Roald Dahl website.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you and your students during this week.

Why not listen to some of Dahl’s Stories via Listening books. This audio book service supports the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 all the way through to A-Level and has a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to follow the same books that their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension, word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

The Dahl books on offer are:

BOY: A memoir of Roald Dahl’s childhood containing some hilariously true stories, such as the great mouse plot of 1924, when an eight-year-old Dahl and his gobstopper-loving friends took a just revenge on the disgusting sweetshop owner Mrs Pratchett.

MATILDA: Matilda is a very clever little girl, but her terrible parents don’t like her, and her head teacher, Miss Trunchbull, is very frightening. She isn’t very happy. Then one day Matilda starts moving things with her eyes, and after that she isn’t afraid of anybody! The official Roald Dahl website offers planning to go with this.

THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR: Bizarre, amusing and grotesque, these tales enter the unexpected world of Dahl. They illustrate the different lives that people lead: a life of chance, of risk and of plain bad luck. The stories are specially chosen for teenagers to introduce them to Dahl’s work for adults.

Did you know Roald Dahl wrote many of his best-known children’s stories, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, in a writing hut in his garden? Why not check ReadingZone live to see how other authors get their inspiration to create?

 

Roald Dahl was famous for the large amount of fun and exciting words he made up. Why not create a phizz-whizzing Dahl inspired dictionary, using j2e5 and combined it with BBC Sound Effects to create a multimedia presentation? (with some very rude sounds!)

 

Roald Dahl was famous for the large amount of fun and exciting words he made up, Why not create a phizz-whizzing Dahl inspired dictionary, using j2e5 and combined it with BBC Sound Effects to create a multimedia presentation? (with some very rude sounds!

 

Research the Roald Dahl’s history via The Guardian and The Observer News Archive to inspire you students. For example, you could use the article below to get children thinking about who would be the most popular children’s author today. You could ask children to research this online or get them to create their own poll using j2vote and then collate the data with j2data.

On the day, you can watch also watch Roald Dahl Day show! Find out how amazing authors like Adrian Edmondson are inspired by Roald Dahl’s writing and look for gems from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. You can register here to watch on the day.

Minecraft has a number of Roald Dahl themed immersive worlds for children to access. Minecraft’s open world environment encourages players to build wondrous things, tell stories and go on adventures in mysterious and amazing worlds. Minecraft: Education Edition brings this creativity into classrooms. Students have new ways to visualize stories and express their ideas, explore plot elements, create their own stories and immerse themselves in the world of James and the Giant Peach , George’s Marvellous MedicineThe Great Mouse Plot from Boy Masters of Invention from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Whatever you are doing for Roald Dahl day, please share your activities via our twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to hear from you.

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International Day of Democracy – 15th September

The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

Democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies.

The link between democracy and human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

The video below from the United Nations sets out what the International Day of Democracy is and why it was created, this overview also provides information on what Democracy is and the part that the United Nations plays.

A great resource to use on this day is British Values from LGfL. British Values were first defined in the Prevent Strategy as “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. But all too often, teachers feel they have inadequate support and resourcing with which to develop this important part of the broader school curriculum.

We have sought to meet this need by providing high-quality, safe and relevant teaching materialsthat foster deeper understanding and informed debate amongst young people. We do not aim to deliver a definitive view for teachers and learners to ‘accept and learn’, but to enable discussion in a safe, tolerant and supportive environment. The video below explains what is democracy

‘Developing British Values’ is both a stand alone learning resource in its own right and also as a gateway to other ideas, assets and materials (via the Related themes and Further assets & resources menus) that can be used for one-off, dedicated activities, or for embedding core themes into a planned series of lessons.

This time of year is also when most schools are electing their school councils, there is a short overview from CBBC Newsround which explains what a school council is and the roles, perfect for showing to younger children or new Year 3 pupils. Children’s Rights Wales have also produced a great pack for schools councils, with a range of games, ideas and an activity pack for staff and pupils.

To inspire pupils why not watch a video from Kid President – the one below is entitled A Pep Talk from Kid President:

Parliament UK has a fantastic range of resources for looking at democracy.  The free teaching resources include videos, downloadable lesson plans, assemblies, interactive whiteboard resources, loan boxes and publications. Their interactive games are also ideal for use both in the classroom or as homework activities www.parliamentgames.co.uk.

Alongside the resources, you can also book a tour of The Houses of Parliament. A range of free CPD opportunities are on offer for primary and secondary teachers as well as trainee teachers; including Westminster based CPD sessions, in-school training days, online courses and their annual Teacher’s Institute residential programme based in Westminster.

The British Council have also produced a range of resources for schools. Commonwealth, Parliament and Democracy resource created in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, will help to provide students with factual information and cross-curricular activities, enabling them to learn and think critically about the Commonwealth, its parliament, and the topic of democracy more broadly. The activities also aim to expand students’ knowledge and understanding, provide opportunities to develop their core skills, all the while encouraging them to explore and reflect on local and global issues. Each unit contains information for teachers, ideas for discussion and suggestions for cross-curricular activities. These can be used as starting points in individual lessons, or as elements of a larger cross-curricular joint project involving collaboration over a number of subjects with a partner school overseas.

They also have a resource entitled Polling day for Primary and Secondary schools explains why voting matters, who’s allowed to vote and looks at democracy around the world.

The Museum of London is running an exhibition entitled Votes for Women marking the centenary of the 1918 Act that gave some women the right to vote for the first time. Dedicated to those who campaigned tirelessly for over 50 years to achieve votes for women, the exhibition features iconic objects from the Museum’s vast Suffragette collection, including Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike medal. At the heart of the display is a powerful, newly commissioned film that reflects on the contemporary relevance of the militant campaign that continues to inspire, shock and divide opinion.

Museum of London – Suffragette Poster Parade 1911

What ever you are doing for International Day of Democracy, please share via our twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to hear from you.

 

International day of Literacy – September 8th

September 8th marks UNESCO’s International Literacy day, raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy. First held in 1966 and now part of the UN’s sustainable development goals program adopted in 2015, International Literacy day highlights the changes and improvements being made worldwide in literacy development.

Since 1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. The International Conference on ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ will explore ways to make effective connections between literacy and technical and vocational skills in policies, practice, systems and governance.

LGfL have a range of resources to support not just International Literacy day but with Literacy throughout the curriculum.

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including JIT, j2e5, j2 office. J2 write also provides teachers with a range of lesson plans to get started as well as examples of use and templates. Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups.

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase including Phonics maker, word reading, comprehension, transcription, handwriting and presentation, composition, vocabulary and grammar games, and desktop publishing templates that are cross curricular.

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

  1. Log onto the Listening Books website with your LGfL USO account.
  2. Search the catalogue for a book to which you would like to listen.
  3. Press the ‘play’ symbol and the book will begin!

You can also access 15 free e books from Rising Stars for ages 7-14. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each book also comes with teacher’s notes and activities meaning that they are ideal  for use with 1:1 as well as during guided reading sessions.

The Whole Story resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum. Structured thoughts and examples on how to take hidden and or less obvious stimulus within an image or object offer new opportunities for teachers to explore with their learners.

Fairy tales – Each of the six fairy tales is broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words.

This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols.Animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners. Within each story, pupils can choose their own motivator, which rewards them as they successfully complete activities, and there are four ability levels for even further differentiation.

In the same format as Fairy Tales, Early Shakespeare takes two favourite Shakespeare plays (Romeo & Juliet and AMidsummer Night’s Dream) and SEN assist have transformed them into literacy exercises that are likely to prove popular with pupils across the ability spectrum. the two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all.

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative. Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer.

Don’t forget we also have a 5 Ways to support Literacy , the aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

There are also a range of tools that you can use for Literacy, one of our favourites is Book Creator, book creator one for the ipad is free as is the online version if you make 40 books. This is a great tool to use to create cross curricular books within class, there is an excellent blog post entitled 50 ways to use book creator in your classroom that has a range of ideas. Describing words does what the title suggests, students can enter nouns into the search bar and then are presented with a range of adjectives – great for inspiring descriptive writing and poetry.

Literacy Apps from the National Literacy Trust, is a guide that aims to help parents and teachers get the most out of apps that support language and literacy development. Some of the apps recommended in this guide need to be paid for and some offer further in app purchases.

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories, it is also free for any educational setting. You can search art work, as well completing challenges and reading guides to inspire writing of different genres. The blog also features a weekly prompt which could be used as an early work exercise or for homework.

What are you doing for International Day of Literacy, do let us know by sharing your ideas and work via our Facebook pand Twitter or in the comments below.